Out and About: Sampling the New LakeHouse Restaurant at Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress

Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress is just a stones throw from Walt Disney World, making it a popular destination for tourists, conventions, and golfers. It also has a new restaurant that might help it make a name for itself in culinary circles as well.

LakeHouse Restaurant at Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress - photo John Frost

The LakeHouse restaurant is a new dining concept that offers upscale breakfast, lunch, and dinner options, along with cocktails, in a beautiful setting that takes full advantage of all the beauty that Florida has to offer.

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American Gymkhana To Offer Brunch Starting January 17, 2015

American Gymkhana weekend brunchAmerican Gymkhana, the modern Indian restaurant that recently opened in Dr. Phillips has announced they will begin serving weekend brunch starting January 17.

Offerings for the brunch include egg dishes, like the Desi omelet with serrano chili; savory dishes, like the Mumbai Frankie wrap with gymkhana chicken and sweet peppers; and sweet dishes, like Banjara Chicken & Waffles.

All dishes have a modern Indian spin on the ingredients and spices, making brunch here unlike anything else offered in Orlando.

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Two New Restaurants Announced for Disney Springs at Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World has announced two new restaurants that will be located in their new Disney Springs project. They will be called Morimoto Asia, and The BOATHOUSE (no, I’m not sure why all caps either).

Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs

Morimoto Asia is named for famed Master Chef Masaharu Morimoto, and will be the Iron Chef’s first-ever pan-Asian restaurant. It will feature cuisine from across that continent.

The two-story restaurant will feature waterside seating, terraces, a grand hall, and a cocktail lounge. Food will be cooked in exhibition kitchens, and include Peking duck carving and dim sum.

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Cask & Larder in Winter Park To Open For Lunch Starting in July

Cask & LarderGourmet restaurant Cask & Larder has announced that they will start serving lunch starting July 11, 2013.

They will be open from 11:30am until 2pm Wednesday through Saturday. Lunch will feature new dishes, including sandwiches and salads, as well as a few items from their dinner menu.

They will still be serving the brunch menu on Saturday and Sunday (opening at 10:30am on Sundays).

Dinner hours are 5:30pm to 10pm, and there is a bar late night menu that starts at 10pm.

Cask & Larder is located at 565 West Fairbanks Avenue in Winter Park

Monsieur Paul Restaurant Opens at Epcot at Walt Disney World

Lovers of French cuisine have a new place to eat at Epcot, as Monsieur Paul is now open in the former Bistro de Paris location.

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The restaurant is an upscale, but less formal version of the previous eatery, with bright colors and a touch of modernism. Even the uniforms are new.

“Monsieur Paul” was the name cooks used in the 1950s to address a young Paul Bocuse in the kitchen to differentiate him from his father George Bocuse, also an established chef—and the nickname has stuck throughout Paul’s life.

The restaurant is decorated with mementos of Chef Paul Bocuse’s extraordinary culinary honors – he achieved three Michelin stars for 48 straight years at his famous Lyon restaurant, Auberge du Pont de Collognes.

The new menu, created by Chef Francesco Santin who worked with Chef Bocuse in his restaurant in Lyon for 15 years, is built on the Bocuse tradition of French classical cuisine with fresh ingredients. For instance, a classic Bocuse fish entrée prepared in France with rouget (red mullet) is re-imagined at Monsieur Paul with red snapper from Florida.

Appetizers average $15 a dish, while entrees average $40 per person. There is also a prix fix menu, that starts at $59 per person; $95 per person with wine pairing.

Monsieur Paul is open seven days a week for dinner beginning at 5:30 p.m. There is a dress code, with items like tank tops, swimwear, hats, and torn clothing, not allowed.

Call 407-WDW-DINE (939-3463) or go online for reservations.

[Photo courtesy of Walt Disney World]

Orlando Magical Dining Month Returns in September

Orlando is becoming quite a foodie town, and one of the best times to check out the area dining scene is during the annual Magical Dining Month.

Similar to restaurant weeks in other cities, Orlando’s event features fine dining restaurants from around town offering up special menus for a fixed price to guests.

For the 2012 version, the participating venues are offering up special three-course dinner menus for $30 per person. Most of the menus feature an appetizer, entree and dessert, with two to three choices per course. Tax, beverages, and gratuity are extra.

In the Disney/Lake Buena Vista area, restaurants include Todd English’s Blue Zoo, La Luce by Donna Scala, and Andiamo Italian Bistro and Grille,

Restaurant Row (along Sand Lake Rd in Dr. Phillips) features menus from Fishbones, Morton’s The Steakhouse, and Seasons 52.

In the International Drive area by the convention center, diners can choose from favorites like Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar, Funky Monkey Wine Company, and Taverna Opa.

There are quite a few options in the Universal Orlando area, including Emeril’s, Emeril’s Tchoup Chop, Latin Quarter and The Palm.

Downtown diners can choose from the likes of The Bohme, Hue, and Prickly Pear.

Other restaurants include Chez Vincent, Luma on Park, Crave, and Le Coq Au Vin.

As a bonus, one dollar from each meal from this promotion will go to a chosen charity. This year, it is the Edgewood Children’s Ranch.

Orlando Magical Dining Month 2012 runs from September 1 through 30.

For a complete list of participating restaurants, sample menus, and more information, visit the Orlando Magical Dining Month website, sponsored by Visit Orlando.

Enjoy Dining Discounts During September 2011 Via Orlando’s Magical Dining Month

Orlando has a wonderful selection of gourmet restaurants and one of the best times to try some of them out is during Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month promotion. Luckily for you, that month happens to be September 2011.

Until September 30, you can dine out at select bistros and restaurants around town for only $30 a meal. This meal is a set three-course dinner menu that includes an appetizer, entree and dessert from a special menu created by the eatery just for this event.

Among the restaurants participating this year are Bici Ristorante, Emeril’s , Emeril’s Tchoup Chop, Latin Quarter and The Kitchen at Universal Orlando; Crave at Mall at Millenia; The Boheme downtown; both Funky Monkey Wine Company locations; Le Coq Au Vin; Roy’s Hawaiian; Seasons 52; and Todd English’s Bluezoo at Walt Disney World Swan.

As a bonus, $1 from each meal will be donated to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida.

For a full listing of restaurants and sample menus visit the Magical Dining Month website. Once you’ve picked a place to eat, make a reservation then ask for the Magical Dining Month menu to order off of.

So what places do you want try out on this promotion?

Orlando Restaurant Week 2011 Starts April 28

Restaurant weeks are a great way to try out new places to eat without spending a lot of money. That’s why I’m excited that the Orlando Restaurant Week, sponsored by the Orlando Weekly, is starting tomorrow.

The way it works is restaurants put together a special menu that includes a choice of appetizers and entrees, and sometimes a dessert and/or a beverage. They then offer this menu for a set price that is usually less than ordering a la carte off the regular menu.

This spring’s Orlando Restaurant Week runs April 28 (tomorrow) through May 7, and has four price points: $10, $15, $25 and $35.

Under the $10 list are offerings like lunch at McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant and Mellow Mushroom, or dinner at Waitiki and Wall Street Cantina.

For $15, you can enjoy lunch at Ember or dinner at places like Cuba de Cuba Cuban Bistro or OLV Cafe.

The $25 price point is a dinner menu, and includes restaurants like 310 Lakeside, BB King’s Blues Club and Copper Canyon.

Finally, the upper $35 list is also a dinner menu, and includes dining establishments like Crave, Funky Monkey Wine Company and The Melting Pot (Sand Lake).

There are many more restaurants participating, and you can find the complete list, as well as instructions on how the restaurant week works, at the Orlando Restaurant Week website.

So which restaurants do you want to try?

Enjoy Restaurant Discounts During Orlando Magic Dining Month

It might surprise some people, but Orlando has many fine dining establishments. Quite a few of them even have celebrity chef names attached to them, like Emeril Lagasse and Todd English.

Of course eating at them can be pricey, but during Orlando Magic Dining Month, it’s possible to enjoy the gourmet experience without paying the price for it.

From September 1 through September 30, 2010, over sixty of Orlando’s best restaurants are participating in this annual restaurant promotion.

For $30 per person (plus tax and beverages), it’s possible to enjoy a three-course meal at places like CRAVE, Funky Monkey Wine Company, Norman’s at the Ritz-Carlton, Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion and Seasons 52.

Even some theme park restaurants are participating. Among the Universal restaurants participating are Emeril’s Orlando, Emeril’s Tchoup Chop, Latin Quarter and The Kitchen at the Hard Rock Hotel (one of my favorites). SeaWorld’s Makahiki Luau is on the list. Walt Disney World is even represented by Todd English’s bluezoo (Swan and Dolphin resorts) and Portabello Trattoria (Downtown Disney).

For a complete listing of restaurants, along with sample menus, visit the Orlando Magic Dining Month website.

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